Mills Memorial replacement must be on priority list

With the election now over, Terrace, B.C. hospital project needs full attention

WITH the provincial election now over, it’s time to get back to the most pressing local issue for Terrace and area – the planning and construction of a new Mills Memorial Hospital.

Last heard, the Northern Health Authority had submitted an updated concept plan to the health ministry for the structure and what it’ll contain with a price tag now estimated at $362 million.

That plan will form the basis for the next step, the formulation of a business plan which will define the nuts and bolts of the project.

The challenge for Terrace and area now is how to get a seat at the planning table to ensure that local interests are represented when it comes to how the new structure will be built.

Paramount must be a requirement to include local businesses and local labour to the greatest extent possible. We would expect nothing less if this was a private sector mega-project and that requirement is greatly magnified considering it is to be financed with taxpayer dollars.

Of course this is easier said than done as major project planners within the provincial bureaucracy no doubt prefer to do things their own way in their own fashion in their own time.

But this in no way should deter the City of Terrace, in concert with the regional district directors from Thornhill and surrounding rural area, from consistently making the case for local involvement.

This is, after all, our hospital.